General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3125
Course name: Comparative Constitutional Law
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: Second
Designated research course: Yes
Specialization: Not applicable
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: Constitutional law
Course offered to non-law students: No
Credit point value: 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 25

1.2 Course description

This interdisciplinary course will survey a combination of fundamental questions and cutting-edge scholarly debates concerning both constitutional drafting and constitutional adjudication. Readings will consist primarily of social science scholarship as opposed to judicial decisions and will have a primarily empirical as opposed to normative orientation.

Law school courses in comparative constitutional law have traditionally focused on constitutional adjudication to the exclusion of constitutional drafting. However, questions of constitutional drafting and constitutional design are of considerable and growing importance. Accordingly, this course will address not only how constitutions are interpreted and enforced, but also how they are created in the first place. The course will begin by considering foundational questions, such as: What is a constitution What purpose(s) do constitutions serve What practical effect, if any, do constitutions have What topics should be addressed by a constitution

Other topics to be addressed include the process by which constitutions are drafted; the extent to which the content of national constitutions has become standardized; the relationship between constitutional law and international law; the extent to which constitutional courts around the world employ common analytical techniques and the usage of foreign law by constitutional courts. The goal will be to develop an empirically informed understanding of recurring patterns and contemporary standards in constitutional drafting and constitutional adjudication. The course will be conducted in a seminar format, meaning that much of class time will be spent exploring the questions and arguments posed by the material through group discussion rather than through lectures by the instructor.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor David Law dslaw@hku.hk CCT-306 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Compare and critically evaluate competing descriptive theories of constitutional drafting.

CLO 2 Apply social science theories to describe and explain the behavior of courts.

CLO 3 Describe and explain competing views of the impact of globalization on constitutional law.

CLO 4 Critically evaluate constitutional jurisprudence and make constitutional arguments from a comparative perspective.

CLO 5 Critically evaluate constitutional jurisprudence and make constitutional arguments from a comparative perspective.

2.2 LLB Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link: https://course.law.hku.hk/llb-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Class participation N/A 20% 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Written assignment TBA 80% 1, 2, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: https://www.law.hku.hk/_files/law_programme_grade_descriptors.pdf

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by the convenor(s).

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/